Myths of Greece and Rome Narrated with Special Reference to Literature and Art

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Maps of Greece, the Mediterranean area, and Rome



Homer 2
Amor 14
Fountain of Cybele (Rhea) 19
Minerva and Prometheus 26
Pandora 30
Hope 34
Olympian Zeus 40
Ganymede and the Eagle 42
The Abduction of Europa 46
Juno 50
Iris 53
Minerva 56
Apollo Belvedere 66
Apollo and Daphne 69
Orpheus and Eurydice 78
Farnese Bull 81
Aurora 86
Apollo and the Muses 89
Diana of Versailles 92
Niobe 95
Venus de Milo 102
Fourth Hour of the Night 104
Sleeping Love 109
Hero and Leander 115
Cupid awakening Psyche 125
Charon and Psyche 129
Flying Mercury 133
Venus de Milo and Mars 141
The Forge of Vulcan 146
Fountain of Neptune 150
Father Nile 157
The Furies 162
The Three Fates 164
Bacchus 175
Marriage of Bacchus and Ariadne 180
Abduction of Proserpina 185
Ceres 189
A Nymph 191
School of the Vestal Virgins 199
The Vestal Tuccia 201
Genius of Death 209
Hercules an Infant 217
Hercules and Centaur 222
Mounted Amazon going to the Chase 225
Hercules at the Feet of Omphale 231
Fortuna 233
Farnese Hercules 237
Perseus 245
Perseus and Andromeda 247
Dædalus and Icarus 254
Ariadne 258
Theseus 261
Jason and the Dragon 270
Medea 272
Atalanta’s Race 277
Œdipus and the Sphinx 284
Antigone and Ismene 289
Chimæra 293
Vertumnus and Pomona 302
Paris 309
Abduction of Helen 313
Parting of Hector and Andromache 322
Thetis bearing the Armor of Achilles 327
Laocoon 334
Triumph of Galatea 340
Acis and Galatea (Evening) 342
Circe and the Friends of Ulysses 348
Siren 351
Penelope 356
Æneas at the Court of Dido 368
Cumæan Sibyl 371





MYTHOLOGY is the science which treats of the early traditions, or myths, relating to the religion of the ancients, and includes, besides a full account of the origin of their gods, their theory concerning the beginning of all things.

Myths of creation.

Among all the nations scattered over the face of the earth, the Hebrews alone were instructed by God, who gave them not only a full account of the creation of the world and of all living creatures, but also a code of laws to regulate their conduct. All the questions they fain would ask were fully answered, and no room remained for conjecture.

It was not so, however, with the other nations. The Greeks and Romans, for instance, lacking the definite knowledge which we obtain from the Scriptures, and still anxious to know everything, were forced to construct, in part, their own theory. As they looked about them for some clue to serve as guide, they could not help but observe and admire the wonders of nature. The succession of day and night, summer and winter, rain and sunshine; [12] the fact that the tallest trees sprang from tiny seeds, the greatest rivers from diminutive streams, and the most beautiful flowers and delicious fruits from small green buds,—all seemed to tell them of a superior Being, who had fashioned them to serve a definite purpose.

They soon came to the conclusion that a hand mighty enough to call all these wonders into life, could also have created the beautiful Earth whereon they dwelt. These thoughts gave rise to others; suppositions became certainties; and soon the following myth or fable was evolved, to be handed down from generation to generation.

At first, when all things lay in a great confused mass,—

“Ere earth, and sea, and covering heavens, were known,
The face of nature, o’er the world, was one;
And men have call’d it Chaos; formless, rude,
The mass; dead matter’s weight, inert, and crude;
Where, in mix’d heap of ill-compounded mold,
The jarring seeds of things confusedly roll’d.”
Ovid (Elton’s tr.).